HAPPY NEW YEAR
I returned to Spurn on the 27th after going back to Halifax for Christmas. As before Christmas the birding was hard work but still enjoyable. Because I had Dan up for New Year’s I spent a lot more time out in the field rather than typing in Kew.
There were a good number of highlights to be had from our walks round; Barnacle Geese, Pale Bellied Brent Geese, a drake Pochard, Jack Snipe and Snow Bunting. We tried to catch the Bunting, but unfortunately our attempt to pin it down with seed was unsuccessful. There were a healthy number of thrushes around too, especially Fieldfare with over 100 coming in off the sea on one day.
We also spent an afternoon looking for the Rose-coloured Starling in Easington. Having spent so long trying to avoid this bird, it finally seemed time to actually look at it. It took longer than I expected to find it, but once we had located it we got ‘excellent’ views of it in the bushes right next to us. Its undergone extensive moult from when it first turned up, so it’s slightly prettier now compared to what it was. Still not glorious mind!
On the 29th we decided to twitch the Desert Wheatear in Whitby. In my head it would have been a spectacular bird in glorious light. Sadly that was not the case as the weather took quite a drastic turn for the worse on the day we decided to visit. The Wheatear could be found sheltering under the cliffs looking absolutely sodden. It did meant that we were able to get extremely close to it, but it did not look as amazing as I had hoped. We also had a Red Grouse on the drive over, a Shag, Eider and a Whooper Swan at Whitby and then a BTO ringed Herring Gull in Filey. An excellent day out in the end.
Spurn Bird Observatory: Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose, Greylag Goose, Moorhen, Coot, Little Egret, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Gannet, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Tawny Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, Rose-coloured Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Reed Bunting, Snow Bunting,
Whitby: Desert Wheatear, Whooper Swan, Eider, Shag, Fulmar, Rock Pipit, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Starling, Rook, Song Thrush, Redwing, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,